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Followup: Library Board Unanimously Supports TOR Relay 95

Wrath0fb0b writes: Last week, the administrators of the Kilton Public Library in New Hampshire suspended a project to host a Tor relay after the DHS sent them an email asking them to reconsider. At a board meeting yesterday, the exit node was reinstated by unanimous vote. Board member Francis Oscadal said, "With any freedom there is risk. It came to me that I could vote in favor of the good ... or I could vote against the bad. I’d rather vote for the good because there is value to this." Deputy Police Chief Philip Roberts said, "We simply came in as law enforcement and said, 'These are the concerns.' We wanted to inform everyone so it was an educated decision by everyone involved." Deputy City Manager Paula Maville added, "This is about making an informed decision. Whatever you need to do, we’re here to support that."
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Followup: Library Board Unanimously Supports TOR Relay

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    the relay exit node : ]

  • Ban People (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    People can be good or bad, I suggest we ban people.

    All hail our robot overlords.

  • all good? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thoromyr ( 673646 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:05PM (#50534381)

    So they really weren't that concerned about having an open tor relay? When they invoked OMG terrorists! children! it was just so the board would make an informed decision? Sorry, but for them to claim no stake in the outcome belies their attempt to shut it down.

    Not that their response is bad, it just isn't all that believable. Now, if they had said, "I'm disappointed, but at least they made an informed decision" it would come across like they actually believed in what they told the board. This makes it seem like they are acknowledging the fud didn't work.

    It reminds me of a story a prof told me about a student who went in to argue about a grade, unsuccessfully. When the student left a friend in the hall asked, "did he buy it?" and the response was "nah." Just like here, didn't really have anything invested in it, and wasn't perturbed when the story didn't get traction.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most of what you mention was in the commentary of the previous article, not the article itself.

      "The use of a Tor browser is not, in [or] of itself, illegal and there are legitimate purposes for its use," Neudauer said, "However, the protections that Tor offers can be attractive to criminal enterprises or actors and HSI [Homeland Security Investigations] will continue to pursue those individuals who seek to use the anonymizing technology to further their illicit activity."

      All the hysteria was in the comments, and sinister motives applied to the police out of personal hatreds rather than the evidence of the story.

    • Re:all good? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:41PM (#50534715) Homepage

      You know the scary thing ... in just how many cities would the board have bought into the FUD, decreed that they can't do something which supports terrorists, and then get duped into saying it should be left off?

      They really did want the outcome of making them all too scared to leave it.

      I'm betting the fucking DHS has come powerpoint slide decks to teach law enforcement how to make these sound scary in order to suppress them ... because the DHS et al have decided it will just be easier if they can make those pesky freedoms go away. Just like they have slide decks explaining how to commit perjury with parallel construction.

      Make no mistake, this is part of a deliberate campaign to use FUD to do what they can't do legally. Defend and uphold the Constitution my ass ... these people are fully into suppress, distort, and lie mode.

      You can't protect someone's rights be eliminating them, no matter how delusional you are about why you're doing it.

      • I'm not suggesting they didn't want the outcome, but they don't seem to have been invested in it. Just like the student in my example would've liked a higher grade, but as he had no case he wasn't going to actually *fight* for it. But see what he could get with minimal effort? Sure.

        Maybe as time goes on they'll turn up the heat on Tor. Probably will, unless they can find an effective way to defeat it.

        • Re:all good? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @03:01PM (#50534895) Homepage

          You give them a lot of benefit of the doubt .. much more than I do.

          They knew they had no legal basis to pursue this. They had no legal basis to demand it or fight for it. Because it's not illegal.

          This is the soft approach by which they insinuate all of the bad things which could happen, and hope the current climate leads to the library board saying "holy crap, look at this".

          This is fairly scary, as it means that the spy agencies and law enforcement are working to subvert legal rights in a fairly shadowy way. And my conclusion is to trust them less and less with every passing week.

          Because the shit they're willing to do in order to make an end run around Constitutionally protected rights is reaching the point where you have to start asking if these guys aren't the real enemies of the state ... not 5 years ago it would be easy to dismiss that as crazy talk.

          These days? Suddenly it's not so crazy.

          • Re:all good? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by thoromyr ( 673646 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @03:19PM (#50535049)

            Its pretty clear that our intel community* ignores the constitution where ever possible and considers all americans to be (at best) one step away from terrorism (especially anyone discussing matters like this). So I'm not really giving them the benefit of any doubt -- just slightly surprised that they act like they had no irons in the fire after going OMG evil! The normal response to any resistance is to double down, but here they seem to have just shrugged their shoulders. "Did he buy it?" asks one, "nah" says the other.

            * not to be confused with the individuals that comprise it. It is a mistake to even think that the "average" member reflects the community. That simply isn't how group dynamics work. So just because the community sees the constitution as an annoyance that does not mean a significant number of the individuals do. I say this because it is all too easy to conflate the two, but it should never be forgotten that the community is made of up individuals.

          • Really? If it was truly just "informative," which it looks like, I think they may just be doing due diligence. If your boss said "hey I heard about this TOR thing, want to set up a relay on our corporate network?" it would be a good idea to say "by the by, TOR is used for both good and bad things. Are you sure this is something you want to be a party to?"

            Hosting a TOR node is not a no-brainer. You do not know what's going through your relay. Your specific node at some point almost certainly will be used to

      • Re:all good? (Score:5, Informative)

        by flink ( 18449 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @03:02PM (#50534911)

        You know the scary thing ... in just how many cities would the board have bought into the FUD, decreed that they can't do something which supports terrorists, and then get duped into saying it should be left off?

        You might be surprised in the other direction. Librarians have a pretty strong tradition of standing up to this kind of crap. The ALA has been speaking out against the section 215 of the PATRIOT act (the one used to justify mass metadata collection) since day 1 because it could be used to snoop on people's library records.

        • Re:all good? (Score:5, Informative)

          by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @05:25PM (#50536161)

          Yup. Immediately after the PATRIOT act made it legal to demand library records, the ALA issued a strong recommendation that libraries destroy all records of who checked out what immediately after the item was returned. Don't underestimate librarians.

          • by Falos ( 2905315 )
            That is awesome. Which is all there really is to say on the matter.

            I wonder if there's deadman/canary ideas we should thank them for.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            My mother was a librarian when John Hinckley shot President Reagan. The Secret Service showed up and demanded all his library records. She said "No. A) You need a court ordered search warrant, B) We don't have an electronic circulation system (this was 1981), everything is stored on microfilm and we don't have enough staff to search for those records. Come back when you have a warrant and bring your own staff."

            Eventually they did come back with a search warrant. That's the way it's supposed to work.

            Libraria

        • The ALA has been speaking out against the section 215 of the PATRIOT act (the one used to justify mass metadata collection) since day 1 because it could be used to snoop on people's library records.

          While the ALA is the largest professional body for librarians in the United States, it doesn't speak for all librarians. There have been many ordinary librarians and library boards across the country who have opposed the ALA's privacy efforts in the last 15 years (or even further back), identifying it with a par

      • I wonder if DHS will make the same request to the NSA who host thousands of TOR exit points
    • Re:all good? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wo[ ]net ['rf.' in gap]> on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @04:18PM (#50535547)

      So they really weren't that concerned about having an open tor relay? When they invoked OMG terrorists! children! it was just so the board would make an informed decision? Sorry, but for them to claim no stake in the outcome belies their attempt to shut it down.

      Not that their response is bad, it just isn't all that believable. Now, if they had said, "I'm disappointed, but at least they made an informed decision" it would come across like they actually believed in what they told the board. This makes it seem like they are acknowledging the fud didn't work.

      It reminds me of a story a prof told me about a student who went in to argue about a grade, unsuccessfully. When the student left a friend in the hall asked, "did he buy it?" and the response was "nah." Just like here, didn't really have anything invested in it, and wasn't perturbed when the story didn't get traction.

      Well, they were concerned, that's why they shut the relay down when the DHS sent them that note. They turned it off, and put it up for a vote by the board, and since they're librarians, they did research.

      (Librarians are awesome).

      So they did their research, and they went all in knowing it can be used for bad, but it can also be used for good. And the "good" outweighs any concern they can be helping pedos, terrorists and other "bad people".

      So yes, they went all in, informed themselves of the issues and concerns, and decided that the freedom it provides outweighs the negatives.

      These people aren't dumb. They actually research the issues themselves and make an informed decision.

      • I also don't think DHS were necessarily being bad guys here, either. They acknowledged there are uses of TOR for good and for evil. However, they don't know what the library board knows. An uninformed person might think TOR is used only for good, or only for evil.

        If your mom wanted to host a TOR node, you would tell her "you sure you know what you're doing, right? That'll be used both to help dissidents fight an oppressive regime, but also to help pedos traffic child porn."

        As you said, the librarians did th

  • by GungaDan ( 195739 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:06PM (#50534389) Homepage

    Those folks stand up for freedom.

  • This can't be. Most of the people that posted comments about the previous article swore that freedom was dead and that the people were all sheep. How could this have happened?

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:22PM (#50534525) Homepage Journal

      because we got off our asses and created a groundswell of public support for it, which enabled the people who could do the right thing and wanted to do the right thing to do the right thing.

      When it's David vs. Goliath, and then an army shows up to back David, the odds improve dramatically.

      Online tools are invaluable but people who just complain online all day never change anything.

      Be the change you want to see in the world.

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        The sarcasm was more about the knee-jerk comments suggesting that the town was going to surrender to DHS and that New Hampshire wasn't living up to its motto. You're right though. Hashtags and comments alone aren't likely to create the change you're looking for. I'd also add that positive change is more likely to happen at the local level as in this instance than at the federal level. And that's alright.

  • by terbeaux ( 2579575 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:13PM (#50534449)
    KILTON LIBRARY

    80 Main Street
    West Lebanon, NH 03784

  • You can write in code with a pencil. Please reconsider pencils.
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:16PM (#50534471) Homepage Journal

    That's what we'd holler to cars driving by as we rallied to support the fine folks who had taken the initial steps at the Kilton Library (you might recognize my name from the article - OK nm it's slashdot). Do read this story [freestateproject.org] to get a better sense for what this sort of street-level activism is like (and how enjoyable it can be).

    More pics and a great interview with the librarians on the event page:
    https://m.facebook.com/events/... [facebook.com]

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      I think that's great. I really really do. Of course, there's a "but" coming... those numbers on the FB invite page don't look very positive :-(
      615 invites
      13 maybe
      16 went

      Regardless, congrats on the outcome!

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:20PM (#50534503) Homepage
    Crime is down, war is down, pollution per person is down, government taxes are down, and basically 90% of the measureable evils humans have discovered are all going down. But we don't hear about that because things that don't happen or happen less is never news.

    Glad to hear some of the good news, where people stand up for privacy rights.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Sales tax is 9.9% here and the gas tax that pays for the roads is going to go up nationwide shortly. (yes roads are important)

      We have eliminated many many diseases to the point that we are now seeing some of them again only because some idiots won't vaccinate their children because they have never heard of polio.

      On that note do you think we should teach about the current vaccines and the diseases they prevent? The only one I am aware of that they teach you about in school is the smallpox vaccine. It was so

      • Smallpox was eliminated because the only host was people - there was no external reservoir to re-infect the population. Alas, not true for almost all other diseases - for example, rabies in bats and foxes. Often the disease has only minor or even no effects in these other hosts, making it even harder to eradicate.

        • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

          Afaik everything covered by the MMRV vaccine is human only measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and of those afaik only varicella is problematic to eliminate as it creates lifetime human carriers. Polio is another notable human only disease.

          I really thought that we would have eliminated another world wide by now. It can be done it should be done and we have the ability. I hate to think its just stupidity but I can't seem to find any other reason.

          Rabies while still quite dangerous is thankfully very limited in

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      True. I can say as a greybeard that the good old days sucked except for the manned space program. The 70s where terrible.

  • Live Free or Die (Score:4, Informative)

    by nadaou ( 535365 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:26PM (#50534569) Homepage

    Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
    Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775. [ushistory.org]

    No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

    Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional v

  • Yay Librarians!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2015 @02:28PM (#50534589) Homepage

    If you enjoy having your civil liberties and access to uncensored information .. thank a damned Librarian.

    For literally decades they've found themselves on the forefront defending your rights saying "hell no we won't do that" against people who want to burn books, or outlaw various things which shouldn't still be up for debate.

    That DHS felt the need to sew a little FUD and bring in the local cops to stir up the bullshit and lies is pathetic. That the library board has sent a big "fuck you" is awesome -- because someone needs to stand up to the fascists and assholes who are constantly trying to say that certain freedoms are just too dangerous to have.

    It is literally true that without Librarians fighting to defend these things we might no longer have them. Either from moralizing old bitties, or assholes in government, these rights are often under attack.

    Go Librarians, and thank you.

    • Smart people who love books.

      Librarians are awesome. Secret Superheroes indeed

      • Librarians are awesome. Secret Superheroes indeed

        conan-the-librarian says: you touch that tor node and it will be the last thing you ever do!

    • We can show our support by being more careful who we elect into office. Saying 'thanks' doesn't mean much if you vote for people who would have them fired or arrested for resisting.

  • That's why it says "Live Free or Die" on the license plates.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The original article never mentions an exit node, but merely a relay node. A relay node merely transfers encrypted data between the entry and the exit nodes. A relay node does not connect to either the Tor client, which the entry node does, or to the final destination, which the exit node does.

    Some people are hesitant to run an exit node because it may connect to illegal sites which may invite reprisals from their ISP or worse, but a relay node will normally not raise any flags, except for excessive traff

    • Normally I don't mod AC's up, but this one should be (I even have mod points but I already posted...).

      TFS is wrong (why am I surprised) because it clearly states that it is an "exit" node, but TFA is equally clear that it is a *relay* node. Maybe that's why the police/dhs didn't fight this harder, but it doesn't change the fact that they opposed a mere relay node.

      FWIW, I think libraries *should* host exit nodes. A very appropriate place for them as they have a long tradition of upholding privacy, including

      • FWIW, I think libraries *should* host exit nodes. A very appropriate place for them as they have a long tradition of upholding privacy, including against government incursions. But it is also easier to get an exit node taken down through association with criminal acts. Though the people in TFA have it right: a city doesn't shut down roads simply because some people choose to drive drunk. Or the fact that they are used as escape routes by bank robbers. Or facilitate interstate crime by transporting stolen goods.

        And does it even make any difference whether they run Tor exit relay or not to begin with, while library patrons using public wi-fi there can be as bad as Tor users in this respect? Libraries I've been so far didn't have any sort of captive portal, let alone authentication that limits access to library users. I don't know if that's the case with this particular library, though.

  • Both the Library Board and Police acted like reasonable and informed adults. I'm surprised it even made it to the news.
    • The most civil, on topic, least histrionic meeting I can remember. From the public to library board to the local police, everyone spoke briefly and seemed to be aware there exist a valid argument on both sides. Good decision.
  • National Librarian Day [holidayinsights.com]

    Date When Celebrated : Always April 16

    National Librarian Day celebrates and honors librarians. They are among the most knowledgeable people you know. When you visit your cavernous library in search of a particular book, or a specific research topic, they always quickly point you in the right direction. And, they do so with a smile.

    ...

    Celebrate the day by sending a card to your librarian. Visit the library today, and make certain to say hello and "Thank you" to all of the librarians.

  • I love how this defeated policeman (thug) is trying to play down his attempted violation of their rights through intimidation. I suspect his grandfather defended his actions when police chief saying, "We didn't run the black men out of town, we just gave them a one way drive."
    • Why do you think the police officer was trying to intimidate anybody? It's conceivable, of course, but from what I read there was no reason to think that the police officer did anything more than point out possible trouble. Not all police see their job as repressing freedom.

  • We're in the Uber economy! NO ONE is supposed to have a sit down, explore al angles, and determine whether the positives outweigh the negatives! Your supposed to go ahead and do it! Who do these people think they are??

    I'll bet they don't even get off the ground! They won't even make a million dollars! Success doesn't happen this way!
  • We wanted to inform everyone so it was an educated decision...

    That would be hilarious if this whole topic wasn't so sad and depressing. A law enforcement agency wanted to educate a house of knowledge on IT technology.

    Basically the cops said "OMG, do you know how dangerous what you are doing is!!?!" To which the library said "Yes, we know. You clearly don't, but we do."

    • I wouldn't be surprised if a police officer knew more than I did, even about aspects of topics I know a whole lot about. I think it likely that the police officer went through potential problems, and the library board considered them and decided they weren't significant enough to not have the node.

  • It would be a shame if something happened to it . . ." -- DHS

If all else fails, lower your standards.

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